Commission Spotlight: Cairngorm Quartz Engagement Ring
Scottish Themed Engagement Ring
Last year, I was commissioned to make this gorgeous engagement ring and entrusted with the hardest secret I’ve ever had to keep.
On boxing day, Ollie got in touch. He was looking for an elegant ring, using Scottish and English stones to represent where the couple are respectively from. I love commissions, especially engagement rings and stone set pieces as hey take me out of my comfort zone and give me a me a chance to get to practice my stone setting skills. This ring was particularly interesting as I ended up doing a lot of research into gemstones and meet suppliers in person, which was lovely. It was also extremely exciting as it was for one of my closest friends.
After an initial discussion, I made up some mood boards and sent Ollie a few sketches to give him an idea of how some styles and colours would work and began looking into the different types of stones available. It was important to use gemstones that we could trace back to Scotland or England. We found Scottish Amethysts, Cairngorm Quartz, Elie Garnets as well as Tayside Agate, however we didn't have much luck with English stones. We thought about Hematite, Whitby Jet and found out that the Middle of England is apparently famous for Fluorite, but decided these weren’t quite right for the engagement ring.
Ollie decided to go for Cairngorm Quartz. Cairngorm is the traditional name given to Scotland's national gem, quartz from the mountainous regions of Scotland. Cairngorm Quartz have been well documented from the medieval period onwards and were considered to be a sacred stone. A quartz crystal was owned by many Highland clans, the gem was seen as talisman holding magical, healing properties. Ollie chose the Cairngorm Quartz since they are found here in Scotland and available in a wonderful range of earthy Scottish tones which are all completely natural. I managed to source them somewhat locally rather than online meaning there is fully traceability from stone to supplier.
I managed to source a 6mm round Cairngorm Quartz from a supplier in Edinburgh- a beautiful Smokey Quartz with grey/brown hues, found by the suppliers themselves in Highland Perthshire. To sit alongside this, I sourced two gorgeous, smaller oval quartz from a lovely supplier in Fife, who again had found the raw stone himself in the highlands of Scotlands. The smaller stones were a clearer quartz, with champagne hues which reflected the light beautifully.
Once we found the perfect stones, I designed a classy, elegant 9ct White Gold band and setting with a bit of a vintage feel. Something simple which would show off the Quartz. Since we didn’t manage to tie in the Scotland/England theme with the stones, I tracked down a wonderful vintage ring box from a jewellery shop which was around in Leeds in the 1920s, a nod to where the couple now live together.
The finished ring:
I love the way the stones reflect the light, the colours and the hues are forever changing. The white gold band has been left it’s natural colour rather than rhodium plated which I think looks lovely and ties in well with the earthy tones of the Quartz.
In August last year, Ollie proposed on a beach in Croatia and I am pleased to let you know that she said yes!
Earlier this year I also made the wedding rings, an elegant 9ct white gold band shaped to fit the engagement ring ring for her and a rough, textured 9ct white gold band for him both left the beautiful, natural white gold colour. And this past weekend I had the pleasure of watching the happy couple become husband and wife at the weekend. Not a dry eye in the house. Congratulations again, A & O.